As an adult, you like to think that you learned all you needed to know about fertility while you were at school. That’s what sex education was for, right?
Some surprising facts on the matter, however, may have slipped right past you. Take a look at the following:
Data from NHS England says that around 33 per cent of couples struggles to conceive because of low sperm count. A low sperm count affects both the quality and quantity of sperm, making conception less likely. If you’ve been trying to conceive for a while but haven’t, this could be the reason.
Why sperm counts are falling appears to be lifestyle-related. Smoking, drinking and caffeine consumption may explain the fall in sperm counts across the UK over the last forty years.
Women are born with between six and seven million eggs. This number declines as they reach puberty to around 300,000 via a process called ovarian follicle atresia.
There’s currently a campaign to raise awareness of fertility issues in Parliament, due to the severity and widespread nature of infertility in the UK.
Within a year of trying to conceive, between 80 and 90 per cent of couples will fall pregnant. Between 10 and 20 couples out of every 100 may need help with conception.
Numerous studies show that being overweight can adversely affect both male and female fertility. Experts recommend that people aim for a body mass index between 20 and 25. Some people with eating disorders or restrictive diets may find that their BMI falls below 18, which could put them at risk of low sperm count and amenorrhea.
After the age of 35, the health of a woman’s eggs begins to fall. Women over that age, therefore, may want to freeze their eggs to preserve them.
The chances of conception during any one particular menstrual cycle are lower the older than a woman gets. By the time a woman hits thirty, the chance of conception is 20 per cent per menstrual cycle, and by the age of forty, it’s down to five per cent.
The most likely time to get pregnant is the day after ovulation, about 14 days since the last period.
Moderate exercise is 30 minutes of medium-intensity exercise, five days per week.
The NHS imposes strict criteria on whether same-sex couples can have IVF, including if you aren’t of the right age or if you already have a child.